The neurological approach: Using interactive direct mail

The digital revolution gave us all a voice — and that’s great. Nowadays, everyone from the biggest multi-national company to the local struggling artist, right through to community groups and charities, has a wonderful platform for spreading the word.

Social media, cheap web hosting, and a range of applications designed to make visual content really pop — all of this has contributed to a beautifully vibrant landscape for organizations seeking to get their voices out there.

But, think about what happens when everyone in a crowded room suddenly starts speaking? Well, we get a whole lot of noise — regardless of the quality of the ideas being expressed.

Unfortunately, something similar to this has happened online. Sure, the world wide web is fantastic for researching topics and for finding a wide range of different pieces of information. But this is because it is easy to tune out this racket when we are searching for things we want to find.

Embracing physical media from a marketing point of view

When we consider this from a business perspective, it becomes trickier. How do we reach potential customers and clients? How do we cut through the noise and make a real connection with those we need to form relationships with?

To get to the bottom of this, we need to think neurologically. That’s right, direct mail is back thanks to science.

In 2015, a scientific study published by Canada’s Postal Service found some very interesting conclusions. Their study demonstrated the following:

–> Direct Mail is so much easier for the recipient to immediately understand than digital communications. In fact, mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process.

–> The message of the mail is received and absorbed much more quickly than a message received digitally.

–> Direct media is far more effective for motivating recipients than digital alternatives. The study hinted that this might be due to the bright, eye-catching, tactile nature of a solid direct mail strategy that excites a number of different senses.

–> This makes direct mail a real behavioral driver, pushing the recipient to take the action you want them to take.

–> Direct mail inhabits a zone of total attention. Think about how many tabs you have open when you browse. Consider the influence of laptops, tablets, televisions, smartphones, and any other devices you might have distracting you while you browse. Contrast this with the direct mail that lands on your doorstep, that you hold, read, and engage with.

IKEA’s 3D pop-up direct mail piece

We can see this in action when we consider the personal response to something like Ikea’s pop-up interior mail-out. Receiving this, opening it up, and marveling at the ingenious design is a far more active and engaging experience than simply receiving an email, no matter how image-heavy that email is.

World Water Day interactive direct mail

Similarly, the World Water Day pamphlet, which needs to be exposed to running water to display all of its text, offers a far more engaging and inclusive experience to the recipient. This, in turn, is reflected in the recipient’s action after receiving the direct mail.

World Water Day

Canada Post’s study is also backed up by other sources. The ANA/DMA Response Rate¬†report of 2018 shows us that direct mail really does encourage action from recipients. In fact, direct mail response rates were found to be up to nine times higher than response rates for digital communications — including¬†email, paid search, or social media.

Don’t miss out on this. There’s no need to do away with your digital campaign, but make sure you are harnessing the very best that direct mail and physical media have to offer. Speak to our team today to learn more.